RIYADH, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday the signing of an agreement to build the largest solar photovoltaic facility in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The agreement was signed between Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), a company owned by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), and ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation.
The 2,060 megawatts solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Al Shuaibah of Makkah province is expected to achieve commercial operation by the fourth quarter of 2025, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Badeel and ACWA Power will jointly own the project with each company holding 50 percent equity stake through the establishment of Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Company, a joint venture dedicated to developing the project.
Yazeed A. Al-Humied, deputy governor and head of MENA investments at PIF, said the project comes as part of the PIF's commitment to providing 70 percent of Saudi Arabia's renewable energy by 2030.
He added that renewables is one of PIF's priority sectors as part of its domestic strategy, which focuses on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors to enhance Saudi Arabia's efforts in diversifying revenue sources.
Saudi Arabia announced in September five new renewable projects with a total capacity reaching 3,300 megawatts to produce electricity, including three projects using wind energy and two using solar energy.
The projects are part of the kingdom's target of reaching the best energy mix to produce electricity in Saudi Arabia from renewable energy resources. ■